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Police still working to find who killed Fairfield teen

Published: Friday, April 15, 2016 @ 7:00 AM
Updated: Friday, April 15, 2016 @ 8:17 AM
By: Lauren Pack - Staff Writer

Four years ago today, 15-year-old Chelsea Johnson was found stabbed to death near a Fairfield creek close to the intersection of Pleasant Avenue and Nilles Road.

And four years later, her killer remains unknown and uncharged.

Just before the third anniversary of the Fairfield Options Academy student’s murder, authorities announced a grand jury did not return an indictment against a suspect in the case, despite a year-long investigation in which the Butler County Sheriff’s Office took a fresh look at the case.

George D. Davis II, of Cincinnati, who was sent to prison for drug trafficking, importuning, and having weapons under disability for attempting to exchange heroin for sex with Chelsea was released in January, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Fairfield Police and Butler County Sheriff’s detectives as well as the county prosecutor say the case is not forgotten and they continue to work on any leads as they get them.

But Johnson’s mother, Vicky Fible, says it is not enough. On Wednesday, she spent time in Hamilton County at an annual summit in Bond Hill as part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The event was attended not only by survivors, but also by police officers, judges and prosecutors.

“I think Hamilton County needs to look at Chelsea’s case,” Fible said. “They are on it (case investigations) over there.”

Fible said she is frustrated that her daughter’s case continues to be unsolved and the lack of communication by officials with her.

“They don’t call me and when I (call them), it takes a day for them to call back,” Fible said. Adding another set of eyes is needed on the case, she said.

In April 2014, Fible and other family and friends protested outside the Butler County Government Services Center carrying signs saying “Justice for Chelsea.”

At the request of Fible, the sheriff’s office joined forces that year with Fairfield police and embarked on a tandem investigation.

The results of that investigation were presented in a grand jury during two days of testimony, but the grand jury declined to return an indictment.

“After consideration of all of the facts in the case presented to it by the prosecuting attorney of Butler County, which included two days of testimony and the presentation of nine witnesses, the grand jury has returned no indictment” against the suspect,” said Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser when the results were disclosed.

This week, Gmoser said the case was not closed.

“It’s not a cold case in the sense that they are still working it,” he said.

Fairfield Police Chief Mike Dickey agreed.

“It remains under investigation,” Dickey said, noting detectives also get frustrated about not closing a case. That makes them work harder. “It stays with you. We are not going to give up on it.”

When asked if detectives are monitoring the location of Davis, who some believe may know more about the case, Dickey declined to comment except to say, “We are aware of the current situation.”

Butler County Sheriff’s Maj. Mike Craft said they too continue to work on the case, but could give no more information about the investigation.

“But every time there is an anniversary or an event with media coverage, it does seem to get more information flowing,” Craft said.

The sheriff’s office is also investigating the Katelyn Markham disappearance from her Fairfield home in August 2011. Her remains were found in April 2013 in Indiana and her death has been ruled a homicide. Katelyn’s father, Dave Markham, asked the sheriff’s office to take a look at the case in December.

The shooting death of 19-year-old Joseph Oakley, who was found near the same creek bed as Chelsea in August 2012 also remains unsolved.

A memorial remembering Chelsea will be held a 3 p.m. Saturday at her grave site in Arlington Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Compton Road in Cincinnati.